14 Questions You’re Too Embarrassed To Ask About Iowa State

We all have questions. Period. In all honesty, I too have been too worried what people would think of me if I asked a question, which if you think about it…it’s kind of weird.

Either way, I am here to answer a few of those questions and if you have more, don’t be afraid to ask me in the comments below! This is a free non-judgement zone 24/7.

1. What’s the Campanile?

The simple answer: It’s a big clock tower that rings every 15 minutes on the hour, every hour AND people can climb to the top and play songs with the 50 bells it has stored inside. Iowa State’s is located on central campus. Read more about it here.

2. What is the difference between the word college and the word university?

Colleges are a collection of departments and majors. Universities are a collection of colleges. So, colleges are smaller and that is why you hear people saying Iowa State University has six undergraduate colleges, which are Business, Agriculture and Life Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Human Sciences, Engineering, and Design.

3. Where is the library?

It’s here. It has lots of space to study, which will come in handy in the next few weeks. (Internal freak out about finals.)

4. Will I make friends?

Of course you will! I have made friends from Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Singapore, and of course all over Iowa. Don’t let this fear bottle up inside your head, then you start to second guess yourself. Making friends on your residence hall floor, clubs, and classes will naturally happen. I promise you it will happen quickly.

5. Why can’t I walk on the zodiac in the MU?

CAUSE IT’S CURSED! Just kidding. You see, there is a myth out there that if you step on the zodiac in the Memorial Union you will fail your next test. So, all Iowa State students walk around the zodiac as they enter and leave the building. Pretty crazy, right? Read about how the myth started here. 

6. What if I don’t know what I want to major in?

That’s totally fine! I didn’t either, but I stupidly just picked a major. Instead I wish I would have done the open option route when I signed up for Iowa State. It would have saved me some headaches my second semester. Not knowing what you want to major in is perfectly normal, it’s actually so normal that most incoming students pick this open option when they enroll at ISU. Read more about this option here.

7. Will I make it to class on time for my class across campus?

Yes, Iowa State owns a big chunk of land, and lots of that land is used for agriculture research. However, for most students, they will only be on the land that centers around what is called central campus, which expands from Sheldon Ave to University Blvd and Pammel Drive to Lincoln Way.  From border to border it would take you about 15-20 minutes but for classes they are much closer. You can easily make it from one class to another, no matter where it is located in at least 10 minutes.

8. How do you use CyRide?

Let’s break this question up. Here you can find today’s routes. Here you can find the next bus at any stop on any route. Here you can download the MyState app, which also has an amazing bus and map feature. Here are some other links to help you out.

9. What is Hilton Magic?

Hilton Magic is the phenomena which occurs at Iowa State’s basketball facility called Hilton Coliseum. This phenomena is when, without explanation, the Iowa State men’s or women’s basketball teams all of a sudden are making almost every shot they take and their opponent is now, without explanation, no longer making the shots they once were. Then, boom! The game is over and the Cyclones have won! Read more about it here.

10. Is there corn everywhere?

Yes, Iowa does have lots of corn fields within the state. However, we don’t just have corn. We grow lots of different crops too and we do have cities, medium sized cities, and small towns with thriving little downtowns. Corn is a major part of our agriculture and the state’s economy, but Iowa is also home of the biggest producer of ice cream, a publishing giant, and financial and gas station companies, which are headquartered in the Des Moines area.

11. Who is Fred Hoiberg? or Who is the “The Mayor?”

The most dreamy college basketball coach in the NCAA. Next question. (Read a recent feature on him and why he is beloved in Ames.)

12.If I eat in the dining centers by myself, does that make me a loser?

NO. College is a busy place, and sometimes you have to eat quick and move on. Most students schedule an hour around noon to eat somewhere on campus, because the food is so good and it is common to see students eating by themselves. Even if that sounds frightening to you, just schedule dinner dates with friends on certain days.

13. How do I register for classes?

Wow. This is a loaded question. I don’t even know how to explain, not because it’s complex just because it’s a loaded question. The best thing is that your academic adviser is always there to help you, or an older friend should be able to help too. I also wrote a blog about it once! Read it here.

14. Does everyone party?

The short answer is no, not every student at ISU parties. Why? Simple. Go to this website. It’s a database of over 800 clubs and organizations on campus. Being in one of these, especially a leadership position is, well, a lot of work. College is about time management. How you want to spend your time is up to you, and yes you should follow state and federal laws when it comes to drinking or you will/can get in trouble.

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